Apr 15th, 2010 | By | Category: Prose

Our culture has a love-hate relationship with commercials. They run the gamut from catchy to annoying to sexy to meme-tastic. Some however, are just so mind-numbly insipid, that they go down in infamy, and end up on blogs devoted to asinine advertising. Thankfully I have traded in my cable (and lost the cable companies firm love-grip from around my wallet’s balls), forsaken the TV for the most part, and live on internet alone. While this has helped shield my already commercially addled brain (thank you 80’s) from new crap, our advertisement driven society still seeps in through the cracks of unused space. Sides of buses, floors of metro stations, and right before any movie begins in theaters, we are constantly bombarded with advertising. Some of it can be cute, but most often it’s apathetic or just down right nauseating.

I hope one day in the near future, advertising will come printed on rolls of duct tape that you can then tape around the heads of screaming children that will display such ads like “This moment of silence was brought you by Applebees, bring your kids here so we can shut them up with a sandwich next time,” or perhaps have a series of painted red mustaches over a swarthy looking set of dentures to promote Captain Morgan Rum. Nothing says awesome like mixing kids with booze (in fact, that’s often how some are made)!

Despite the cute, novel, and sometimes experimental forms of advertising that helps keep the field so fresh in a game where there’s constant one-upmanship, there are the occasional disasters that just make you blink and go WTF. But not WTF in a good way like Starburst’s Berries n’ Cream “Little Lad,” but in a very bad way.

Dance Little Lad, DANCE!

Guerrilla marketing is a personally loathed member in this group. Most of it blatantly lies to the consumer by pretending to be something it’s not. Take for instance Sony’s failed campaign led by Zipatoni to “assist” people in obtaining a handheld PSP device. Not only did they totally stereotype their audience as overprivileged idiot teens with bad grammar, but their underestimation of gamers intelligence led to their “Flog” being exposed, and then given the angry mob torch-and-pitchfork treatment. Anyone who plays online games knows that gamers are an unfortunate mix of nerds who will be more than happy to pick on the idiots by unleashing their inner grammar Nazi, the go-nowhere’s (the people who excel at nothing except breathing, and only serve to take up space and resources), and children whose parents probably had them after having too much Captain Morgan and now use a mix of TV and Xbox Live to babysit (and possibly raise) them. The latter two are usually easy to pick out, but hard to differentiate between, unless you have the unfortunate experience to hear them.

This gorilla? Not a marketer.

Guerrilla marketing, however, is at least somewhat creative, if not outright misleading. I’m not sure which bothers me more though. Being misled, or having my intelligence insulted.

In what appears to be the final act of outsourcing to Asia, companies have now created slogans for the ADHD Internet-dependent, who lose interest in what is being said after three words (I don’t have to worry about offending them, they stopped reading this a long time ago, that is if they even found this column).

“We Speak Car”: Ford came up with this great slogan. Really? You speak “Car?” Awesome, I was looking for a translator when I visit Autotopia! I wonder how much they paid the Chinese advertising sweat-shop workers for that one. Too bad an independent business beat you to that little gem. I know how many long hours must’ve been spent wracking the brains of monkeys at typewriters for that masterpiece. “Beep Beep-Beep Vroom Beep!” Haha, I speak car too!

“Let’s do amazing!”: With a price tag of 40 million spent by Hewlett Packard, it’s amazing that this illustrious ad campaign was even green-lighted. How exactly does one “do amazing?” I can do amazing things involving my ass and a trumpet! Is there a noisy child kicking the back of your seat on an airplane while their parent idly sits by as their little angel creates hell on wings? Watch what amazing things I can do with a roll of duct-tape to remedy the situation. I can, also, for 1/40th of the cost, come up with a better slogan! Amazing? I know!

Duct-tape: Advertising tool and modern child's binkie.

“Great Happens”: Great happens when you’re staying at a Hyatt. Shit Happens, however, when you have an imbecile creating your ad campaigns. Perhaps Great Things Happen, but certainly Great itself doesn’t just magically happen. The only thing “great” about this slogan is how grating it really is. Even with adding that missing “things,” the slogan only then becomes the banal and un-noteworthy quote that it is (over three million Google search hits with “great things happen”). Removing “things” entirely only makes it sound like you’re covering up that fact with an air of pretentiousness. It’s like disguising a fart by removing the sound. It still reeks.

So congratulations all you postmodern we-don’t-need-no-grammar-in-our-advertising companies. Whenever I am in need of the services you provide, you will have just moved yourselves further down my list of people I’ll go to. Now I’m off to Quiznos. The sponge-monkeys have informed me that they have a pepper-bar!

Stephen Elkham appeared in the Defenestration office one day when Amber forgot to shut a window after closing up. In a bizarre twist of irony, Stephen actually joined Defenestration through infenestration…and a ladder. Genevieve, Andrew, Eileen, and even Ben Franklin all tried to shoo him out with various methods (Ben tried logic and reason, Eileen tried magic wardings, Genevieve tried verbal lashings, and Andrew merely whacked at him with a rolled up newspaper) while Bigfoot stood back and laughed his ass off. However, Stephen barely acknowledged any of them while creepily staring at the wall and sipping coffee. Soon after, that room was converted into the “Creepy Staring Guy With Coffee” room, and was mostly used for storage. One day, while moving some old equipment back there, Haratron had serendipitously stored a typewriter in front of Stephen. It wasn’t until a few days later that Eileen noticed that the “CSGWC” room was suddenly alive with the ticking of typewriter activity, and suddenly full of papers (one of them was the complete version of Hamlet all in caps, another was hundreds of pages with nothing more than “All werk n no plai, mayks Jack a LOLboi kthx,” and yet another was a scathing review on Jane Austen and how the Bronte sisters should’ve ganged up and shanked her via a time machine). It was clear the creepy guy had some sapience… plus there was now a seemingly endless source of material that could be added to the website (Jersey Devil was charged with filtering though and scanning in all the documents). Stephen is still referred to as CSGWC though…

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